'People don't throw chairs and break windows': Second Glass boss on starting US Wine Riots


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Tyler Balliet (right) with Wine Riot co-founder Morgan First (Photo: Second Glass)
Tyler Balliet (right) with Wine Riot co-founder Morgan First (Photo: Second Glass)

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Dubbed the 'Prince of Boston's Wine Revolution' by Stuff magazine, Second Glass founder Tyler Balliet tells us how to start a wine riot and his excitement about speaking at Wine Vision in London this November. 

Balliet ran his first Wine Riot event in 2009 with the aim of reinventing wine tasting for the thirsty and the curious. There's an emphasis on fun, accessibility and a pitch to younger millennial consumers that takes in DJs a photo booth and temporary tattoos, while an app helps attendees track their favorite wines.

"The goal is to take learning about wine and education, put it into a massive event, target this new generation of wine drinkers and make it a really fun place to come,"​ Balliet tells editor Ben Bouckley in this second BeverageDaily Basement Tape.

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"While people aren't throwing chairs and breaking windows, the atmosphere is very different from your typical wine event,"​ he says.

"There there's typically this guy with an Ascot tie who says 'Try this wine - it has notes of blueberries'. That's not reallly what we do. We dip the lights a bit, play cool music - but the focus is still very much on education and learning about wine," ​Balliet adds.


  • Staid wine traditionalists who believe that wine fans need a solid glass of vinology to enjoy the drink.
  • 'Stumbling' into the wine world during his college years in France, working in a wine store in the US, then risking it all on the first Wine Riot event in 2009.
  • Updating walkaround wine events for a new generation of consumers that attract from 2,600 to 4,000 people.
  • Capturing data from consumers (average age, 29) at events and his plans to develop the insights that this gives.
  • What wineries get out of being part of a Wine Riot, and why they shouldn't wait to target millennials.
  • His excitement at being asked to speak at the prestigious Wine Vision 2014 event in Central London, November 17-19.

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